It was on October 12 around 3 pm, when reputed cardiologist Dr. Saurabh R. Sancheti, 37, got a call on his mobile while attending to patients at his Sancheti Hrudayalay in Buldhana.
“The caller identified himself as Dikshant Navghare and claimed that he had a very sick cancer patient who could not travel to the hospital and requested me to go for a medical check-up at their home,” Dr. Sancheti told IANS, recounting the harrowing incident.
More so, because the caller had given the name of a close acquaintance of Dr. Sancheti – Ajay Nagpure – and he did not doubt their antecedents, so he agreed to rush there on his scooter immediately, to a location on Khamgaon Road.
However, as soon as Dr. Sancheti reached the place, there were around 9-10 youths already present at the location, who – he initially presumed – were relatives of the patient.
And the then horror started – suddenly, without any warning, some of the youngsters, caught Dr. Sancheti and started brutally hammering him, pointed a knife at him, removed all his clothes, filmed the entire episode on mobiles and threatened to make it viral if he did not pay up Rs 20 lakh to them.
After the brutal assault, Dr. Sancheti was taken to an open ground nearby where some other unknown persons arrived in a car. They warned the doctor to pay up the Rs 20 lakh or his minor son and other family members could also come to harm, plus they would make his videos viral.
The badly injured and helpless Dr. Sancheti somehow managed to contact a friend and arranged for a sum of Rs 8.50 lakhs of the demanded amount, and they allowed him to go after he paid up.
Again on October 18 one of the accused persons landed at the hospital to collect the balance amount, but this time Dr. Sancheti was bolder and did not pay up, but rushed to lodge a police complaint with his wife and a friend.
Following the complaint, the Buldhana police lodged a FIR and swung into action to trace the 8 accused from different cities, Buldhana Superintendent of Police Sunil Kadasne said.
Moving swiftly, within less than 24 hours, the police tracked and nabbed 5 accused from Buldhana town and at least one wanted accused Deep N. Ambore, 21, is absconding, with police teams deployed on the lookout for him, even as further investigations are underway.
SP Kadasne said that the accused nabbed are: Dikshant B. Navghare, 23, Ajay N. Nagpure, 30, Vishal M. Gaikwad, 24, Adesh S. Rathod, 19, Suraj M. Pasarte, 20, all from Buldhana, and a city court sent them to police custody.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)